Student Stories

Nathan Griffin

My Background:

My name is Nathan I’m 19 from Drimnagh a suburb in Dublin. I’m an only child and live with Mam. From an early age my Mam knew I’d be clever she used to say I’d always pick up things easily and was a quick learner. I started in school at the young age of 4. So, throughout all my school years I was always one of the youngest in the year. But that never stopped me. In primary and secondary school, I had good grades. I always had big ambitions from a young age. My main goal was to earn money and be successful, so I developed a passion for Business subjects or anything numbers related in school. Being from a single parent family I’ve a close relationship with my mam and when I used to tell her I wanted to go to college and study Accounting she used to panic because she knew I had the intelligence to go to college but she couldn’t afford to send me to college as it was just me and her. I kept dreaming throughout secondary school that I’d somehow get to college, but I just didn’t know how. When in my final year of school, we got a new guidance counsellor and she opened my eyes to the likes of the HEAR scheme and the SUSI grant and ways to get to college. Before her we had no insight into college or ways to get there. After meeting my counsellor, I felt motivated as I knew I now had an opportunity to go to college I just had to put the work in to get there. For the remainder of the year I sacrificed many events to study and do homework in hope that it would pay off and get me to college. And thankfully it did. I secured a place in DCU after my leaving cert through the Access service doing Accounting and Finance in 2017.

My Support:

I have a small enough family but one that supported me right throughout my youth. They where always there for me and knew I had the potential to do something great with my life. I was the first one in my family to go to college. They were excited for me to go and were really proud. My grandparents kept telling me to take every opportunity and make the most of my experience. I also felt I supported and believed in myself which spurred me on to do good. I always kept a positive outlook and believed I could do well in college and make something from my life.

My Journey:

In college it was such a different experience to what I was expecting and in the first year I did feel out of my depth. Being only 17 going into college was difficult because one of the main aspects of college life was the night/social life. And being underage I felt out of place and felt I was too young to be in college and was missing out. But I kept reminding myself that I was in the right place and that I am ready for college. I kept my head up and remained positive and continued with college. I knew there were supports in DCU like the team in the Access service for when I was struggling, but I didn’t have the confidence to ask for help. I didn’t tell my family that I was struggling in the first year because as an only child I learnt to depend on myself and deal with stuff on my own. I felt I was strong enough to deal with it. In the second year of college I really got involved in the Access service and it completely changed my college life I got to meet so many people and became involved in many events in the college. I became an Ambassador for the Access service in second year. I decided to take every opportunity given to me. A message that my grandparents kept telling me. I’m proud to be apart of the Access service and I try to do as much as I can for them because if it wasn’t for the service they have in place I would have never got the opportunity to go to DCU. They gave me a reduced points offer for my course and gave me a financial scholarship which really helped with college life. They were also a pillar of support if I ever needed it. From working with them it greatly improved my self confidence and helped me mature into the person I am today. With the Access team I feel forever indebted to them because it’s because of them that I could go to college and show my potential and achieve what I want in life. One piece of advice I would give is that don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there to help and you just need to be courageous enough to ask. I would also say to anyone considering Higher Education to go for it and to seize the moment and make to most of the experience.

My Vision:

I’m currently in my Final year and hope to do well in my final exams and get a good grade for my degree. My objective is to put as much work into this college year as possible as I really want to do well and the way I see it, I only have one more year in college so I might as well give it my all. I plan to improve on my grades from last year and put as much effort in as possible. I am also going to apply to many accounting firms in the hopes of landing a graduate internship. I then aspire to go on and become a chartered accountant. From then on, I can’t really tell what my plans are going to be but all I know is that I’m going to take every opportunity that comes to me and try make the most of my life as I only get one.